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An electrically tunable terahertz plasmonic device based on shape memory alloys and liquid metals

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posted on 2023-11-30, 18:22 authored by Hui Zhou, Ting Zhang, Ajay Nahata
An electrically tunable terahertz (THz) plasmonic device is designed and fabricated using liquid metals (eutectic gallium indium EGaIn) and shape memory alloy wires (Flexinol). The liquid metal is injected into the voids of a poly(dimethyl) siloxane (PDMS) microfluidic mold forming a periodic array of subwavelength apertures, while the wires are inserted into the elastomer below the metal plane. When a DC voltage is applied to the wires, they contract via Joule heating, reducing the aperture periodicity and blue-shifting the transmission resonances of the device. When the voltage is removed, the wires cool and elongate back to their original length, allowing the transmission spectrum to return to its original state. The magnitude of this change depends upon the applied voltage. The device is shown to thermally cycle between the relaxed state and the fully contracted state reproducibly over at least 500 thermal cycles. The asymmetric geometry of the device and the contraction process yield transmission properties that are unexpected: two closely spaced resonances, where both resonances correspond to the same scattering indices, and an increase in the transmission amplitude of the lowest order resonance upon contraction. We use numerical simulations to understand these features.

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